We are thrilled to share that Cape Ann Animal Aid has been awarded a $30,000 grant from the Petco Foundation to support our pre-adoption veterinary care program! The Petco Foundation’s investment will secure essential equipment and supplies needed to expand our current in-shelter veterinary practices for sheltered animals to include minor medical procedures and cat neuter surgeries.
Cape Ann Animal Aid has remained dedicated to curbing pet overpopulation issues over the years, making it a priority to spay and neuter animals prior to their adoption rather than relying on post-adoption voucher systems. In addition, we secure specialized vet care for animals needing more than routine care in preparation for adoption. For nearly twenty years, these surgeries and other procedures have been done in partnership with local veterinary clinics, most prominently with Cape Ann Veterinary Hospital and North Shore Veterinary Hospital, both of Gloucester.
We are so grateful for the relationship we have with these local vets. They’ve provided excellent services, and at a generous discount, for our shelter animals. But, our adoption numbers are growing and we’re running into delays due to space and scheduling issues. The next logical step is to begin performing many of these procedures in-house,” said Sunniva Buck, Executive Director.
Adopters travel from all over New England to adopt dogs or cats from Cape Ann Animal Aid and we have a strong presence in the local community, hosting school groups and leaning on a legion of nearly 200 volunteers each month. While local rescues are our priority, many of the animals are rescued and transported to Cape Ann Animal Aid from areas battling high-euthanasia and neglect rates such as Texas, Georgia, and Puerto Rico.
We have seen impressive growth over the years. In 2010, we placed 769 animals into loving homes. That number has nearly doubled, with 1,535 animals saved and placed into loving homes in 2018. In 2012, our organization moved into a newly constructed shelter in West Gloucester and interest in animal adoption continues to increase.
Adoption is becoming more and more popular in our area and we want to be able to keep up with that momentum so we can save more animals and make more adoption connections,” said Buck. “The investment from the Petco Foundation will help to move animals from the arrival to available stage more quickly. We’ll be able to take in more animals and save more lives as a direct result.”
In the future, we aim to move a majority of veterinary care for sheltered animals to an internal clinic under the leadership of our Director of Shelter Medicine, Dr. Alex Becket.
“Thanks to the Petco Foundation’s investment, the first step of that dream is becoming a reality,” said Buck. “We estimates that cat neuters will begin happening in the shelter later this year. It’s the start of a very exciting time for our shelter and the animals we care for.”
Representatives from the Petco Foundation will present Cape Ann Animal Aid with the grant check at 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 23 at the Petco located at Gloucester Crossing in Gloucester MA (341 Gloucester Crossing Road). Members of the community are invited to attend.
For more information about Cape Ann Animal Aid, visit www.capeannanimalaid.org. For more on the Petco Foundation, visit www.petcofoundation.org and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by using the hashtag #PetcoFamily.
HOGAN'S HEARTWORM HEROES
You may have heard about one of our current shelter dogs named Hogan. We've profiled his case on our social media pages and more prominently on our Gloucester Pride Stride team page where a group of dedicated supporters is walking to raise funds for his medical expenses. The team has cleverly named themselves 'Hogan's Heartworm Heroes'. (At this moment, just over $700.00 of the estimated $1,000 needed to cover the expenses of Hogan's care has been raised.Thank you!)
But what exactly is heartworm and how is it treated? We've fielded a number of questions from our volunteers and supporters regarding this condition over the past few weeks. The answers are important -- and now more than ever-- because we just got some bad news...another dog in our care has tested positive for heartworm. That's right, hot off the heels of Hogan's treatment, Bella, a one-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback mix with a goofy smile and a contagious zest for life, is just beginning her treatment. Detailed and more clinical explanations about heartworm can be found here. But for this blog post, we'll break it down more simply.
Treatment and care for Bella over the next 2-3 months will look like this:
Our goal is to place Bella into a foster home with one of our current staff members or volunteers. Because of the activity restrictions and medical needs, we are not always able to find suitable foster care. If that is the case, Bella will remain at our shelter, just like Hogan did. Regardless, we will be sure that she gets plenty of cuddles and care from all of us here at the shelter!
A NIGHT WITHOUT FAMILY
Visit our Christopher Cutler Rich Animal Shelter this Friday or Saturday and you won’t just see animals in the dog and cat adoption areas, you’ll see people too!
That's right, one employee, two board members, and two volunteers will be spending 24 hours in our adoption areas without the comforts of their home, family, or cell phone. They will live in the dog runs and cat colony rooms, experiencing meal times, play times, and socialization much like the animals awaiting adoption. Their goal? To experience a night without family and the comforts of home, putting themselves into the 'paws' of homeless animals to help raise awareness and funds for our Enrichment Program, which supports the behavioral and emotional health of shelter animals.
After the last Night Without A Family event, participants wrote down their thoughts and feelings in response to the exercise, providing excellent insight into the sensations and emotions that shelter animals may be experiencing. “We’ve made some changes to our daily animal care routines as a response to this event and the feedback we received,” says Sunniva Buck, Executive Director of Cape Ann Animal Aid. “We have made it a real priority to get shelter dogs out for regular off-site adventures and have created different visual barriers in the animal housing areas to help calm those that may be anxious or overwhelmed.”
Last year, we found loving homes for 1,440 animals and we expect that number to grow by at least 10% this year. Through all of this, our focus continues to be not just on providing food, shelter, and medical care for animals in need, but also on their mental and physical well-being. The Enrichment Fund provides things like interactive toys and feeders, obedience classes, behavior evaluations, agility equipment, play yard and trail maintenance, and calming supplements.
“By definition, the Enrichment Fund really does focus on enriching the lives of homeless animals, helping them to feel comfortable, learn new skills, and prevent boredom through things like play therapy, socialization, and training games while they are awaiting adoption,” says Buck. “As an added bonus, these activities also help make for more well-adjusted pets in their new homes.”
Night Without A Family participants have created online fundraising pages to help meet their collective goal of raising $5,000 for the Enrichment Fund. Donations are encouraged online, in person, or via mail and can be made in sponsorship of an individual participant or of the group as a whole. We are thrilled to share that just this morning, we hit the halfway mark in our fundraising goal!
The 24 hour experience begins at 3pm on Friday, March 2nd and will conclude at 3pm on Saturday, March 3rd. See the tentative schedule posted below! Members of the public are invited to visit with both the animal and human occupants during normal open hours. Of course, our staff will be ready to process adoptions of real shelter animals too, hoping that many will find homes at the same time. Updates and live broadcasts will be posted throughout the 24 hour stay on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
We are looking forward to an exciting weekend ahead. If all goes well, we hope to continue this event in future years, eventually including members of the public and even public officials in the immersive and unique event. What do you think of this event? Sound off in the comments below and stop by and visit this weekend!
HOTEL FOSTER DOG PROGRAM
Any time our organization can join forces with a local business to spread the word about animal adoption and help homeless animals make lasting connections and find loving homes, we call that a win-win! We are proud to share word of a new partnership with Four Points by Sheraton Wakefield Boston Hotel & Conference Center. Read the official press release below for all the details!
FOUR POINTS WAKEFIELD BOSTON PARTNERS WITH CAPE ANN ANIMAL AID TO CREATE HOTEL FOSTER DOG PROGRAM
(Wakefield, MA, February 1, 2018) -- When several hurricanes made landfall in the Atlantic Basin last fall, the management and employees of The Four Points Wakefield Boston wanted to join the efforts to help. Thinking globally and acting locally, they kept an eye out for areas of specific need within their own community that would also play a role in helping hurricane-hit regions.
Meanwhile, Cape Ann Animal Aid, a non-profit, no-kill animal shelter located in Gloucester, was mobilizing its response to the hurricanes. Already familiar with the plight of homeless animals in those areas, the organization had been transporting and finding new homes for dogs and cats from those regions for nearly ten years. In the aftermath of the hurricanes, the need for rescue and transportation hit an unprecedented high. The Animal Aid filled its sheltering facility to the brim, and worked overtime to coordinate, fundraise, and intake animals through rescue partners in Texas, Puerto Rico, and Turks and Caicos.
“We heard what they were doing to help and we were inspired,” says Donna McManus and Talia Osgood, Directors at Four Points Wakefield. “Recognizing the passion our employees have for animals, being a pet-friendly hotel, and truly believing in the good work of Cape Ann Animal Aid, we knew we wanted to partner with them”, adds Four Points General Manager Steve Merrill.
The result was the creation of the hotel’s Foster Dog Program. Situated next to the new MarketStreet Lynnfield shopping plaza, and centrally located between the North Shore and Boston, The Four Points hotel is a great place to reach potential new adopters and visitors in the area.
“We feel that community outreach is a crucial part of running a successful business. Knowing that we are making a difference and helping not only communities down south, but also helping families in our region find loving animal companions, this program has brought so much joy to our staff and guests,” says Merrill.
Cape Ann Animal Aid works closely with hotel staff to identify a foster dog that would do well in the busy and social environment of the hotel. Then, the dog is introduced to the hotel team and settles in to live at the hotel until adoption. Someone is always on duty so the dog is never alone, even through the overnight hours. Potential adopters can visit the dog and fill out an application at the hotel, completing the final paperwork at Cape Ann Animal Aid and taking their new furry-friend home.
Since the program launched in January, four dogs have already found their forever-homes. Currently, the hotel is fostering Wilhemina, a three-year-old hound mix that was originally rescued as a stray in Alabama. If it wasn’t for rescue and transport to Massachusetts, she likely would have been euthanized at an over-crowded animal shelter in Alabama.
“The partnership with this hotel has allowed us to reach a new market of potential adopters,” says Cape Ann Animal Aid’s Executive Director, Sunniva Buck. “By showcasing the foster pup on the hotel Facebook page and word spreading from excited hotel staff members and guests, we have seen a lot of interest in these dogs. Together, we are increasing awareness about the plight of animals in other regions of the country and the importance of animal adoption.”
To learn more about the hotel’s Foster Dog Program, or to meet the dog currently available for adoption, stop by the Four Points Wakefield Boston Hotel, located at One Audubon Road in Wakefield or call (781) 245-9300.
Cape ann animal aid
An opportunity for you to learn more about the mission and programs of Cape Ann Animal Aid. Sharing candid insights, guest columns, breaking news, and of course, adorable photos of shelter animals.